TIME White House

Here’s What Nixon Thought About His Resignation

1990 Nixon Cover
William Coupon—TIME

In 1990, the former President spoke to TIME about his past

Flip through the gallery of Richard Nixon’s appearances on the cover of TIME, and you may notice a gap: the covers chart his political rise, his presidency, his work in China, his reelection, his fight during Watergate and, finally, 40 years ago this week, his resignation. Then there’s his pardon and, a few years later, his famous interview with David Frost, which was later inspiration for the play and film Frost/Nixon.

Then there’s a gap. More than a decade goes by without any Nixon. The two times he appears after the ’70s are on the occasion of his death in 1994 and, in 1990, when TIME published an excerpt from his memoirs. In conjunction with that excerpt, the magazine also took the chance to ask him a few questions. In an interview that covers such diverse topics as the winding down of the Cold War and Nixon’s thoughts on Reagan (“we had different approaches”) and George H.W. Bush (“I ought to leave it in football terms—he’s the Joe Montana. The short, sure pass”), the only U.S. President ever to step down discussed his feelings about making that choice.

There’s life after disgrace, he reminded readers:

Q. How do you expect the Watergate affair to be judged in the future?

A. Clare Boothe Luce once said that each person in history can be summed up in one sentence. This was after I had gone to China. She said, “You will be summed up, ‘He went to China.'” Historians are more likely to lead with “He resigned the office.” The jury has already come in, and there’s nothing that’s going to change it. There’s no appeal. Historians will judge it harshly. That’s what I would say on that.

Q. Why did you write this book?

A. I really wrote this book for those who have suffered losses or defeats and so forth, and who think that life is over. I felt that if I could share with them my own experiences, it might help.

The problem with that, of course, is that resigning the presidency is something that is beyond their imagination. And so, consequently, that’s why throughout the book I tried to put it in a context that they could understand. But I felt that if I could let them see what I went through, and how I at least recovered in part, that that might tell them that life wasn’t over.

Q. You say in your new book that you recovered in part. You also say that you have paid, and in fact are still paying, the price for it.

A. By paying the price, I mean in terms of being able to influence the course of events. I mean, every time I make a speech, or every time I write a book, inevitably the reviewers refer to the “disgraced former President.”

And I consider, for whatever time I have left, that what is most important is to be able to affect the course of events. My experience has been somewhat unique. I am probably wrong on a number of things, but at least it’s a point of view.

The difficulty is that getting that point of view across is compromised by the fact that they say, Oh, this is the Watergate man, so we’re not going to pay any attention to what he does. Now that attitude has receded substantially, and over a period of time it may recede more, but that’s what I meant by that.

Read the full interview in TIME’s archives

TIME weather

Hawaii Pummeled by Massive Storm, Thousands Without Power

Iselle downgraded from hurricane to tropical storm just before making landfall

Tropical storm Iselle made landfall on Hawaii’s biggest island Thursday evening local time, cutting down trees, ripping roofs off buildings and cutting power at a biodiesel plant, leaving 18,000 people without electricity.

“There were trees everywhere, the roads were completely blocked,” Bob Petrici, a woodsman living outside the town of Pahoa, tells TIME.

Iselle was downgraded from a hurricane to a tropical storm just before it struck Hawaii, yet there was no debate over its ferocity. Thrusting rain and massive waves onto the island, Iselle is expected to release an even heavier downpour as it crashes into the towering Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa mountains. Meteorologists are warning of possible land- and rockslides.

“It’s absolutely a danger to people,” says Professor Steven Businger, principal investigator at Mauna Kea Weather Center. “You need to have a nice symmetric situation for a storm to be happy. The ocean is its energy source, so when it runs into a wall, it’s going to significantly disrupt the circulation of the winds.”

Petrici left his house when he smelled the smell of rotten eggs and received an alert that there had been an emergency steam release at the nearby geothermal power plant. Since he owns one of the only hydrogen-sulfide monitors in the area, he felt compelled to check the levels, but failed to reach the plant.

“I cut my way through, but when I came across a tree sagging over the power lines and heard the cracking from the forest, I decided to go back. I think it’s really odd that they didn’t shut down the plant, but my educated guess is that there’s no risk of a major incident.”

A civil defense operation center has been assembled in the major town of Hilo, gathering first responders, road crews, the Department of Parks and Recreation and the Red Cross. Kevin Dayton, executive assistant to Mayor Billy Kenoi, at 10 p.m. local time said the storm’s impact so far has been less severe than expected, but that the worst could yet come.

“We don’t want to be too optimistic, but it’s looking good,” he said by phone. “We stay hunkered down and wait, and try to clear roads as fast as we can.”

After passing the island of Hawaii, Iselle is expected to skirt to the south of the archipelago, where a tropical-storm alert is currently in effect. Over the weekend, an even more powerful hurricane, Julio, is expected to barrel just to the north.

Hawaiians have been preparing throughout the week for Iselle’s onslaught, decimating shelves in grocery stores and supermarkets. Kawehi Cochrane, who runs a guesthouse in Hilo, made sure her guests left before the airport closed.

“I’m very nervous, my stomach’s churning,” she says. “My windows don’t have modern coating, and I’m afraid to lose roofing.”

As the evening progressed, however, Cochrane moved out onto her porch, and the familiar Big Island choir of coqui frogs could be heard over the phone line.

“It feels like Hilo now,” she said. “I think the worst is over, I feel safe.”

TIME Foreign Policy

Obama Authorizes Air Strikes, Humanitarian Aid in Iraq

Iraqis arrive at a peshmerga controlled checkpoint between Irbil and Mosul after fleeing villages near Mosul in fear of Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant attacks.
Adam Ferguson—The New York Times/Redux Iraqis arrive at a Kurdish peshmerga controlled checkpoint between Irbil and Mosul after fleeing in fear of ISIS attacks, Aug. 6, 2014.

“America is coming to help"

President Barack Obama said Thursday that he has authorized U.S. air strikes against militants in Iraq to prevent them from moving on the Kurdish city of Erbil and to protect tens of thousands of refugees in northern Iraq. Obama said American forces had also airdropped food and water to the refugees under siege by the militant group Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS).

“America is coming to help,” Obama said during a brief televised address from the White House late Thursday night, describing the actions as “limited strikes” to assist Iraqi forces in reaching the refugees and to protect American forces who are advising the Iraqis in Erbil. The refugees have taken shelter atop the Sinjar Mountains after Kurdish forces were pushed back by the Islamist group last weekend.

Officials said U.S. air strikes have yet to actually take place, and Obama, who has taken pains to avoid re-engaging in a conflict from which he withdrew American troops in 2011 even as militants have taken control of large swaths of the country, said no ground forces would be part of the operation, other than the military advisers he authorized two months ago. “As Commander in Chief, I will not allow the United States to be dragged into fighting another war in Iraq,” he said.

“American combat troops will not be returning to fight in Iraq,” Obama added.

White House officials spent much of Thursday evening notifying lawmakers of the action, but Obama decided against seeking specific congressional authorization for the intervention. The White House chief of staff also called House Speaker John Boehner.

“When many thousands of innocent civilians are in danger of being wiped out, and we have the capacity to help, we will take action,” Obama said. “When we have the unique capabilities to help avert a massacre, then I believe the United States of America cannot turn a blind eye.”

Congressional Republicans, who have been critical of Obama’s 2011 withdrawal of American troops from Iraq, praised the latest action.

“I am encouraged that American forces are providing humanitarian relief to threatened populations, including Christians and other religious minorities in northern Iraq,” Florida Senator Marco Rubio said in a statement. “My thoughts and prayers are with our men and women in uniform who are in harm’s way tonight carrying out this mission. It is important to remember that [ISIS] threatens not just Iraqis but also the security of the United States and our allies in the region as it consolidates its control of territory that can be used as a base from which to launch attacks.”

A senior Administration official reiterated that the U.S. would be prepared to act anywhere in the country, even in Baghdad, the capital. “If we see action anywhere in Iraq that threatens our personnel and facilities we stand prepared to take targeted action,” the official told reporters. The official said Obama would rely on his authority as Commander in Chief to protect U.S. troops in Erbil as the legal basis for the strikes, should they be necessary. The official described the humanitarian operation as a “unique and urgent” effort to prevent “the prospect of an act of genocide.”

Another official said the Iraqi air force, not the U.S., had targeted ISIS militants in air strikes. “It was swift, it was effective,” the official said in describing the recent ISIS offensive into northern Iraq, which has taken the group to the outskirts of Erbil. “They acted with tremendous military proficiency.”

Officials said further humanitarian drops have been authorized by Obama, should they be necessary. “We will continue to provide airdrops, should we see a need, and we expect that need to continue,” the first Administration official said.

A senior defense official confirmed the operation late Thursday after it had been completed, hours after reports — denied by the Pentagon — emerged of U.S. aircraft striking ISIS forces in northern Iraq.

“I can confirm that tonight, at the direction of the Commander in Chief, the U.S. military conducted a humanitarian assistance operation in Northern Iraq to air-drop critical meals and water for thousands of Iraqi citizens threatened by [ISIS] near Sinjar,” the official said. “The mission was conducted by a number of U.S. military aircraft under the direction of U.S. Central Command. The aircraft that dropped the humanitarian supplies have now safely exited the immediate airspace over the drop area.”

Most of the refugees are members are ethnic Yazidi, who, until this weekend, had been protected by Kurdish forces who control much of northern Iraq. But Kurdish forces have been unable to reach the refugees and the Iraqi government appealed to Washington for assistance.

Multiple U.S. planes were involved in Thursday’s operation, the Pentagon said, including one C-17 and two C-130 aircraft, which dropped 72 “bundles” of supplies flying at low altitude over northern Iraq. They were escorted by two F/A-18 aircraft launched from bases in the region. According to the Pentagon, 5,300 gallons of drinking water and 8,000 meals ready to eat were dropped to the refugees in an operation that took less than 15 minutes.

TIME Crime

Man Charged With Starting Huge California Fire

The Rim Fire burns near Buck Meadows, California
Max Whittaker—Reuters The Rim Fire burns near Yosemite National Park in Buck Meadows, Calif. on Aug. 24, 2013.

It was the third largest fire in the state's history

Authorities have charged a man with starting California’s third largest wildfire ever. The 2013 fire spread across 400 sq. mi. of Yosemite National Park and the Stanislaus National Forest.

A grand jury returned a four-count indictment against Keith Matthew Emerald on Thursday, for allegedly starting the blaze on Aug. 17, 2013, the Associated Press reports. Investigators say Emerald has vacillated between admitting to starting the fire as he was hunting deer by burning trash from his backpack and then denying that he had done so.

The burning went on for two months and cost $125 million to combat. Emerald was picked up by a rescue helicopter an hour after the fire began.

No court date for Emerald’s arraignment has been set.

[AP]

TIME Infectious Disease

Watch a Science Cop Take on Donald Trump

TIME's Jeffrey Kluger takes on The Donald for crimes against science

The Ebola outbreak that is causing such fear and suffering in Africa is a very real and very deadly thing. But the fact is that the nature of the Ebola virus is such that it stands a very low chance of ever causing a pandemic like AIDS or H1N1. That hasn’t stopped America’s great foghorn—Donald Trump—and others like him from spreading all kinds of misinformation about the disease, warning people that patients should not be brought to the U.S. and that flights from West Africa should be stopped, otherwise we face an American epidemic.

But Trump and his ilk are committing a science crime—the crime of misinformation. Here’s the truth, from TIME’s Jeffrey Kluger.

 
 

TIME Drugs

These Are the First Edible Pot Products Sold in Washington

Rethinking Pot Edibles Safety
Brennan Linsley—ASSOCIATED PRESS In this June 19, 2014 photo, freshly baked cannabis-infused cookies cool on a rack inside Sweet Grass Kitchen, a well-established gourmet marijuana edibles bakery which sells its confections to retail outlets, in Denver.

Stringent rules delayed sales of edibles for a month after the first legal marijuana sales took place in Washington state

When the first sales of legal recreational marijuana took place in Washington state this July, there were no edible products in sight. Due to a stringent oversight process put in place by the Washington State Liquor Control Board, no kitchens had been approved for churning out legal pot brownies or THC-infused oils or other green goodies.

That changed at 10:30 p.m. on Wednesday night when Al Olson, the marijuana editor of CNBC.com, purchased the first approved edibles, spending about $200 on products like Green Chief “Crazy Carnival Nuts,” “420 Party Mix,” and “Twisted Trail Mix,” as well as one vaporizer pen and “vape” pen battery. The historic sale took place in Bellingham, Wash., at a store called Top Shelf Cannabis, which was also the first to market with marijuana leaf sales.

The Board, put in charge of implementing the legal marijuana market, had the benefit of watching Colorado start up its marijuana market first. The state experienced issues with children accidentally ingesting marijuana edibles and then proposed more stringent rules about label packaging at the end of July. If approved, rules like putting certain edibles in child-resistant packaging will go into effect Nov. 1.

In June, the Washington Board adopted emergency rules requiring its approval for every edible product, including its packaging and labeling, before being put on store shelves. Products containing more than one serving had to be marked to show serving sizes, a rule Colorado is also considering to help combat accidental overconsumption by inexperienced THC consumers.

“Knowing the rest of the country is scrutinizing every move Washington makes in the space, there was no way this process could have been done quicker,” said industry expert Ata Gonzalez, who makes products like cannabis-infused chocolate at GFarmaLabs in California.”It’s great way the industry, and state laws allowing marijuana use, can display a certain level of responsibility in such a volatile environment.”

TIME Crime

Man Who Shot Unarmed Woman on Porch Convicted of Murder

Theodore Wafer sits in the court room during his arraignment in Detroit, Michigan on January 15, 2014.
Rebecca Cook—Reuters Theodore Wafer sits in the court room during his arraignment in Detroit, Michigan on January 15, 2014.

Could face life in prison for killing unarmed teen

A Michigan man was convicted of second degree murder Thursday for killing an unarmed woman on his porch last year.

Dearborn Heights resident Theodore Wafer, who is white, was also convicted of involuntary manslaughter charges and felony firearm charges, and could face life in prison for the death of 19-year old Renisha McBride, who was black.

“We are obviously very pleased with the jury verdict and feel that justice was served today,” Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy said. “We sincerely hope that this brings some comfort to the family of Renisha McBride.” Wafer will be sentenced later this month.

McBride was killed last November when she sought help at Wafer’s home after crashing her car nearby. Wafer testified that he thought McBride was trying to break into his home. “I was not going to cower,” he said, according to the Detroit Free Press. I didn’t want to be a victim in my own house.” Wafer also testified that he shot McBride as a “total reflex.”

McBride’s death has frequently been compared to the death of Trayvon Martin, an unarmed Florida teen who was killed in a case that ignited national debate about race, gun laws and so-called Stand Your Ground laws. Martin’s alleged killer, George Zimmerman, was acquitted of second-degree murder last year.

TIME cities

Cities Get Their Goats to Be Newest Employees

A goat gives birth at the Iowa State Fair on August 6, 2014 in Des Moines, Iowa.
Scott Olson—Getty Images A goat gives birth at the Iowa State Fair on August 6, 2014 in Des Moines, Iowa.

The animals are now seen as a cost-effective and eco-friendly way for towns to clear areas of unwanted vegetation

American cities big and small are turning to an unlikely new kind of employee in hopes of saving money and improving local streets and parks.

Last month, Boston became the latest city to introduce goats to its workforce as six of the cloven cud-chewers began making a meal of poison ivy and weeds, opening up the latest frontier in urban goatscaping, which has been spreading around the country like so many weeds that the goats have been hired to destroy.

“They’re eating almost everything but the ferns,” says Boston Parks and Recreation Department spokesperson Ryan Woods about Cole, Chester, Christopher, Cassandra, Dalia and Delia—Alpine and LaMancha goats hired to munch through all sorts of unwanted vegetation that have made parts of an area park virtually impassable for humans. The rate for the goat sextet is $2,800 for the eight-week project, one normally reserved for Hazmat suit-wearing humans. It’s being funded through the non-profit Southwest Boston Community Development Corporation, and the group’s executive director Mat Thall estimates that the job performed by regular workers could cost upwards of $8,000.

Goats have become an increasingly cost-effective and eco-friendly way for cities, parks and natural resources departments, and private property owners to clear areas of unwanted vegetation. Outside of Philadelphia, Haverford College has hired goats from the Maryland-based goat purveyor Eco-Goats to eat invasive vines and shrubs. A Madison, Wisconsin-based company called The Green Goats has recently rented the animals out to suburban parks around Chicago. In Victoria, Texas, goats have been unleashed to clear brush in the town’s Riverside Park. Thirty goats were dispatched in a Pittsburgh park to eat weeds and invasive vines, and more than 100 goats were recently used to consume blackberry bushes behind a mall in Lynnwood, Wash.

“If they’re managed properly, goats are a great tool to get in places that are almost impossible to get into with chemicals,” says Ray Holes, who’s been renting out goats in western U.S. towns and cities for close to two decades and is widely known as the Goat King. “And on the whole, it’s probably cheaper, too.”

Goats have a knack for eating all the vegetation humans don’t want around while leaving the good stuff, like grasses, and they can often be trained to acquire a palette for certain invasive species. Goats can eat about 4% of their body weight a day by gobbling up a number of woody plants that are anathema to humans, like nettles, poison ivy, buckthorn and wild parsnip.

While there are dozens of goat-renting companies throughout the U.S., Holes’ is the single biggest purveyor of goats in the country and is considered the Goat King for a very good reason—he owns 9,000 of them that are almost continuously on the job throughout California, Oregon, Washington, Idaho and Montana.

Holes charges anywhere from 75 cents to $3 per goat per day depending on where they work and the kind of munching they’re required to do. And he’s increasingly taken on inner city jobs throughout the the western U.S. In the Los Angeles neighborhood of Sun Valley, for example, Holes recently brought in goats to clear areas near hiking and biking trails.

But the most common job for goats is often creating fire breaks—areas made barren of any natural flammable materials. We Rent Goats, a smaller Wilder, Idaho-based business that does exactly what its name says, often works with power companies around the state in clearing those areas. Co-owner Lynda Linquist says 100 of her goats can eat through an acre a day, and they’re almost always a hit.

“Anytime we bring goats in, usually people are thrilled,” Linquist says. “Some will throw huge parties that are tented and catered.”

Linquist, along with her husband Tim, currently rent out 700 goats, mostly to cities that often need help with just a few acres at a time. (We Rent Goats charges $375 an acre.) The goats are generally kept in place by temporary electric fences. But they’re not goat-proof. In Boise, Idaho, about 500 of Linquist’s animals recently got loose.

“They’re goofy gals,” Linquist says. “They’ve busted out of fences. Sometimes they’ll push each other down and steal what the other one’s eating. Sometimes they’ll just go stand in the middle of the road. You’ve got to be thinking one step ahead of them.”

And they’re not always a welcome sight. In June, a hedge fund manager brought in 20 goats to eat through overgrown weeds on abandoned lots in Detroit, but the animals were kicked out two days later by public officials. (It’s illegal to have farm animals within Detroit’s limits.)

And there are at least a handful of landscapers upset by the growing goatscaping economy, as highlighted by The Colbert Report.

Holes, the Goat King, says about half his clients these days are public entities. And he says his business would be even bigger if it wasn’t so difficult finding managers who not only knew how to wrangle hundreds of goats but were also willing to be on the road for weeks or months at a time.

“We have people calling us constantly wanting us to bring our goats in,” Holes says. “But you have to be willing to be away from home. The goats don’t care your kids are having a birthday.”

 

TIME Race

10 Million Americans Switched Their Race or Ethnicity for the Census

The inconsistencies complicate the Census Bureau's longtime attempts to improve accuracy of such data

Correction appended, Aug. 11, 2014

Almost 10 million Americans changed how they identify their race or ethnicity when asked by the Census Bureau over the course of a decade, according to a new study, adding further uncertainty to data officials already consider to be unreliable.

Using anonymized data for 162 million Americans who responded to census surveys in 2000 and 2010, researchers at the University of Minnesota and the Census Bureau concluded that self-identified race and ethnicity are fluid concepts for millions of Americans.

If the data set were nationally representative, researchers said, then the figure would translate to roughly 8% of Americans self-identifying differently over time. But such conclusions are difficult to draw: if a certain racial group, for example, responded less frequently to the 2010 Census than in 2000, that group would be underrepresented.

Researchers examining inconsistency in racial identification found that those who identified their ethnicity as Hispanic in 2000 were more likely to change their race in 2010. Only 48% of Hispanics who identified as white in 2000, for example, “stayed” white in 2010; the parallel statistic for non-Hispanic whites was 97%. Another group that appeared to alter racial identity more frequently was people who selected one of 10 biracial options in 2000, regardless of Hispanic origin.

US Census Race
Center for Administrative Records Research and Applications, U.S. Census Bureau

The report’s findings complicate the Census Bureau’s multiyear research project to improve the reliability of its race and ethnicity data. The project, called the Alternative Questionnaire Experiment, focused on reducing the 6.2% of 2010 Census respondents who had selected “some other race.” And 6.2% isn’t insignificant: it translates to millions of Americans whose race or ethnicity data are essentially unknown to the U.S. government.

Race and ethnicity are becoming increasingly complex, researchers emphasized, and it’s becoming more and more difficult for Americans to classify themselves with the check of a box.

“If social science evidence is correct, people are constantly experiencing and negotiating their racial and ethnic identities in interactions with people and institutions, and in personal, local, national, and historical context,” the study said. “Perhaps it is not surprising that people change responses and instead it is surprising that so many are consistent in their race and Hispanic origin reports to the Census Bureau.”

Correction: The original version of this story misstated the proportion of Americans who would change their self-identified race or ethnicity over time if the study data were nationally representative (it is 8%) and the proportion of Hispanics who identified as white in 2000 who “stayed” white in 2010 (it is 48%).

TIME 2016 Election

Why Rand Paul Is Attacking Hillary Clinton

Conservative Political Action Conference
Mark Peterson—Redux Rand Paul at the Conservative Political Action Conference in National Harbor, Maryland on March 7, 2014

Meet the GOP's top Hillary attack dog

Some politicians attack in prose. Kentucky Republican Sen. Rand Paul can do it in poetry—with color, precision and language that’s hard to forget.

Over the last week, he didn’t just blame Hillary Clinton for the current state of Libya, he said she created a “Jihadist wonderland” there. He didn’t just knock her for not fortifying the Benghazi embassy, he said she treated the place “as if it were Paris.”

“While she was turning down request for security, she spent $650,000 on Facebook ads, trying to get more friends for the State Department,” he said. “They spent $700,000 on landscaping at the Brussels embassy. They spent $5 million on crystal glassware for the embassies around the world.”

On Friday, he asked the crowd for a moment of silence, to pray for Clinton’s bank account. “Somebody must have been praying for her, because she’s now worth $100, $200 million,” he followed, deadpan. “I tell you, it was really tough giving those speeches.” Then on Tuesday, at an event for a fellow ophthalmologist running for Congress in Iowa City, offered his crowning rhetorical turn. “Hillary’s war in Libya, Hillary’s war in Syria,” he said. “None of this was ever approved by Congress.”

Of course, all of these attacks were unfair, as political attacks tend to be. Hillary did not choose to bomb Libya, though she supported the policy, and she has broken from President Barack Obama on the strategy in Syria. There is no evidence the question of additional security for the Benghazi embassy ever rose to her desk at the State Department, her net worth includes her husband’s substantial earnings, and no one serious has ever suggested an actual connection between Belgian landscaping budgets and American security.

But what matters at the moment is not accuracy, but political calculation and execution. And Paul is quickly establishing himself as the Republican Party’s preeminent basher of Hillary Clinton, a title that could bring him rewards over the coming months as the 2016 presidential race heats up.

The strategy plays to two of Paul’s natural advantages in the current Republican field. He is not a sitting Governor, and therefore far more free to dip his tongue in the partisan mud. He is also running for President—albeit without an official campaign—on the idea that he can best distinguish himself from Clinton on key matters of foreign policy that are likely to resonate with independent and young voters. “There are definitely areas where Clinton has vulnerabilities that Rand is uniquely situated to attack,” said Tim Miller, who spends his days attacking Hillary Clinton for America Rising, an opposition research group.

Other would-be Clinton challengers have, of course, tried to get on the Hillary-bashing bandwagon, but with lesser results. Florida Sen. Marco Rubio made an early splash by calling Clinton a “20th century candidate,” but most of his attacks have sounded more like Senate speeches than a sonnet. “If she’s going to run on her record as Secretary of State, she’s also going to have to answer for its massive failures,” he says. Texas Sen. Tex Cruz, meanwhile, remains more likely to focus his fire on Obama, or their joint efforts, than Hillary alone. “Internationally, the Obama-Clinton foreign policy is a disaster,” he says.

Paul’s focus on Clinton clearly looks like a strategy to elevate himself early in the Republican field. Soon Republicans nationwide will pivot to focus on what may the central question of the Republican primary: Who can actually take on Hillary Clinton and win? As far back as February, Paul was already working on these credentials. He started by calling former President Bill Clinton a “sexual predator” in interviews. His point was that Democrats should be called to account for Clinton’s personal life if they wanted to claim to be champions of women.

Those jabs were widely condemned as political malpractice, a misfire aimed at a popular former President for failures that were long ago digested by the public. “I’m not sure he has a strategy,” Karl Rove jabbed on Fox News. “Frankly, Rand Paul spending a lot of time talking about the mistakes of Bill Clinton does not look like a big agenda for the future of the country.”

Paul never really let up. For weeks in February, he found himself in headlines pitted against the presumptive Democratic nominee.

In a crowded field, he was in pole position—where he remains to this day.

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